LIVE EXPORT — MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT —
56. Hon COLIN de GRUSSA to the Minister for Agriculture and
Recently, a number of members of
Parliament were extended an invitation to tour a live export vessel in
Fremantle, and I note that the minister was not in attendance.
(1) Was the minister invited to
attend this tour?
(2) If yes to (1), why was the
minister unable to attend?
(3) Did the minister send a representative
to attend the tour?
(4) Has the
minister received any further invitations to tour a live export vessel?
(5) If yes to
(4), has the minister committed to undertake a tour of a live export vessel?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the
member for this question.
I was invited to the tour about four days before the event was due to take
place. I do not know what the ministers were like when members opposite were in
government—I am sure they were firing on all four—but we
certainly do not have days unfilled to drop everything and go to a particular
In any event, the invitation was from
Emanuel Exports. Emanuel is a company that is not an exporter of live sheep.
Indeed, the federal government and the National Party's Minister for
Agriculture and Water Resources saw fit to cancel Emanuel's licence. I wonder
about the position and standing of Emanuel to invite members of Parliament to
such a meeting. Indeed, I think it calls into question, given that the federal
government made a decision that in order—I quote the minister—''to
protect Australia's high standards of animal welfare and health''
he had to cancel its licence, that you thought it was appropriate to go down
there. I wonder what sort of message that sends. I am talking to those people
who are actually accredited by the federal government to export sheep. I am
happy to go down, as I have said to them, and inspect a vessel with a properly
accredited licensed exporter.
Several members interjected.
The PRESIDENT: When members
are ready, Hon Colin Tincknell has the call.